Skip to comments.Turbulence Ahead
Posted on 11/29/2008 1:02:56 AM PST by nathanbedford
We've gotten through roughness before. Of things to be thankful for, I personally include this. I traveled this year, and when I fly I say a prayer that has become a ritual: "Dear God, put your big hands under this plane and lift it up, and carry it forward through the air untouched and unharmed by other objects. And may its inner workings work. And put us down softly in our place of destination, and return us safely to our homes, and to those in whose lives we are enmeshed."
It occurs to me that is perhaps how many of us are feeling about our country this Thanksgiving: Lord, thank you for our previous safety, and get us through this turbulence.
I close with a nod of small thanks for the title of a book I saw the other day called, "Are You There, Vodka? This is Chelsea." The stewardess was reading it on a flight from Phoenix to Newark. She was laughing. It was nice.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Here is the woman who attacked Sarah Palin unmercifully, relentlessly for Palin's alleged lack of qualification for the office of Vice President. What does Noonan herself believe? Here is what she says she believes:
"We've gotten through roughness before. Of things to be thankful for, I personally include this. I traveled this year, and when I fly I say a prayer that has become a ritual: "Dear God, put your big hands under this plane and lift it up, and carry it forward through the air untouched and unharmed by other objects. And may its inner workings work. And put us down softly in our place of destination, and return us safely to our homes, and to those in whose lives we are enmeshed."
It occurs to me that is perhaps how many of us are feeling about our country this Thanksgiving: Lord, thank you for our previous safety, and get us through this turbulence."
Who wrote this prayer, Oprah? Did it come from the pages of a woman's magazine right next to the recipes? Many of you might recoil from my assault on Noonan's version of religiosity. How dare I attack another person's expression of religion?
Do you recall what Charlie Gibson did to Sarah Palin? He cut her prayer, uttered in the church by the way, and left on the cutting room floor the part about complying with God's will concerning the war in Iraq. Gibson made it appear as though Palin was lecturing God and presuming to know his will in the conduct of a war! This is right out of the left-wing playbook concerning Christians, they love to paint us as dogmatists who define God's will so we can order them around and in Iraq, for example, commit people to die in combat. Palin, unable to exactly recall her words but sensing that this was somehow repugnant to her spiritual humility, told Gibson and those were not her words. Gibson replied: "exact words." Gibson lied.
Why is this important? Because it goes to the very heart of the difference between Christians and secularists, conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats. Sarah went on to respond to Gibson telling him that her intent was in accord with Abraham Lincoln who, during the darkest days of the Civil War, was asked whether Lincoln thought that God was on the side of the Union. Lincoln responded, "the question is, are we on God's side?" Lincoln and Palin have got it right. Christians and conservatives seek humbly to know God's will while secularists and liberals are compelled by their devils to play God. That is why they find such a cozy home in the Democrat party. The Sarah Palin's in this world are humble, the Charlie Gibson's in this world are arrogant.
The last thing that would occur to Christians of Sarah Palin's stripe is to order God around. Palin knows her scripture and she knows her Abraham Lincoln. Peggy Noonan, on the other hand, tells God what to do and how to do it. Peggy Noonan sees herself as a New York bred enlightened Roman Catholic. She has recently pilgrimage to Rome and had an audience with the Pope. She despises the primitiveness of Palin's theology. She has said so in her columns, at least she has said that spiritual provincialism disqualifies her from office. Having unburdened herself of these spiritual judgments concerning the fitness of Sarah Palin, Peggy Noonan now publishes a prayer that sounds like it's written by a prepubescent teenage girl. Read her prayer, nowhere will you find her searching for God's guidance, for knowledge of his will, but you will find a firm set of instructions.
Peggy Noonan, I am getting damn sick and tired of your arrogance which you camouflage with this gauzy sentiment for which you no doubt get paid by the word. Leave my religion alone! If you cannot understand it, if you cannot apprehend even the basic tenets of the first two commandments of our common Christian faith, at least stop pontificating. Stop pointing fingers. Stop mixing bad politics with very bad theology. Go write a romance novel and indulge your airy fairy impulses until you have a wonderful orgasm.
Exactly! She is a faker. You do not pray for things, even for things to be a certain way as if you know better than God. God has a purpose and a reason and you cannot place your will or “what you think/feel is right” on Him. He decides what His will, will be. I only pray that I be guided, that I am aware of that will and that I be of service to Him and to His people.
Noonan's writing has always been about bringing this quasi-religious feeling to the activities of government. It seems her positions are based on whether or not her subjects can carry such a load.
Obama has all the PR to allow Peggy to pretend he's this secular messiah, which is one reason why she's following him like one of the children of Hamelin. It's one of the silliest ways for a writer to be--not seeing things as they are, but intentionally looking for things to be as you WANT them to be, and then using your writing skill to try to PUSH those fantasy constructs into reality.
It's the reason she's so often wrong on so many things.
I would say that Ms. Noonan's silly prayer is tantamount to imploring God "to not abrogate the Laws of Aerodynamics, to not allow the Laws of Physics to fail."
God is going to do what He is going to do, whether we like it or not, whether we ask for it or not. He is not going to revise or otherwise alter His Divine Plan to better mesh with our personal agendas. The only meaningful prayer, in my opinion, is "God, please help me to accept your Divine Will."
Who wrote this prayer, Oprah? Did it come from the pages of a woman's magazine right next to the recipes?
Probably right next to the ads for magnetic bracelets and Asian potency enhancers.
Good point. This applies to so many Media people.
The last few elections have shown that you don't need any "leftwing conspiracies" because the left has gradually been focusing its power on the right. You don't NEED a conspiracy if everyone is already on the same page.
This is that "speaking truth to power" crap in the extreme--they're literally TALKING the world they want into existence. Problem is, that can only go so far--the media mechanism can get people elected, but it can't make problems go away. But they sure will try.
Her lights are on... but nobody's home.
Just recently, Maria Schriver (A Kennedy), wife of Arnold the governor, referred to herself as a (cafeteria Catholic), she picks and chooses what she wants to adhere to. GIVE ME A BREAK. Maria is more than daft.
Perhaps you don't, but Christians who follow the Bible do.
"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." --Matthew 21:22
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." --Matthew 7:7-8
"And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. [...] If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"--Luke 11:9-11,13
"And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." --John 14:13-14
"And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." --John 16:23
"Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven." --Matthew 18:19
"If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. [...] Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." --John 15:7-8,16
"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." --Philippians 4:6
"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." --Philippians 4:19
What I find interesting is that many FReepers would rush in and say, "The request part is implied, such as 'Give us our daily bread' isn't a command to God, but a request that His will match what we want" if it were someone else...except that it's perceived that Ms. Noonan attacked "Saint Sarah," so anything shw writes Shall not be defended.
While I don't agree with all of Ms. Noonan's ideas and actions, to be fair, she's not doing anything wrong by praying as she does, and she quite correctly questions the economist who gives her the short-term, first-order view of things. She questions those government programs!
Perhaps you don't, but Christians who follow the Bible do.
"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." --Matthew 21:22
Yes, Gondring, you've made a very good point! Namely, that the numerous carte-blanche guarantees appearing in the New Testament that God will (it seems: almost invariably) provide and/or grant whatever we pray for are blatently false.
The fact is that, in nine times out of ten, if a devout Christian makes even a simple, sincere prayer request for something that is a) not likely to happen anyway and b) capable of being objectively tested, that prayer will nevertheless not be fulfilled.
So even if a devout, sincere Christian makes a fervent, legitimate request - e.g., for a terminally ill child to recover, for hunger in the Sudanese province of Dafur to disappear tomorrow, etc. - you can bet dollars to doughnuts that it aint gonna happen!
In such cases, clergymen will usually tell the grieving parents or disappointed supplicants that a) their faith was not strong enough or b) the fulfillment of the prayer was contrary to God's "greater plan," so it was summarily dismissed.
In any event, the long and short of it is that it doesn't pay to pray unless whatever it is you're praying for was likely to happen anyway.
My own daughter lives today by the Grace of God. My BIL was saved from addiction by the Grace of God... My Father bears that witness, and one of miraculous healing, as does one of my very best friends... All very miraculous stories.
Yet in the midst of all these miracles, which I have witnessed with my own eyes, I hover between walking and a wheelchair. Healing me is not in God's Plan (at least, not yet). And that is O.K. There's something I need to do from this position for Him. That witness, like the others, will add to His Glory, of that I am sure.
Miracles abound. They are all around you. The faithful see them every day. If you do not, then you are being mislead. Find a Bible believing Church that is Spirit filled. Those very miracles are the evidence that He is close at hand.
Personally speaking what Peggy sees fit to pray about does not interest me one bit. However, even in some of the Scriptures you quoted the instruction was to ask in my name which is not in Peggy's prayer.
How old is Peggy? Am I to presume she suffered the Great Depression from what she pens? Her love affair with the 'moderation' of Bama tells me she is a loon.
I respect your faith, and am happy for your daughter’s recovery and your brother’s-in-law recovery from addiction.
But the fact remains that, among those numerous passages in the New Testament which Gondring quoted, nowhere can be found the proviso “...unless it doesn’t mesh with God’s plans” - and yet, that’s what virtually EVERY believer will tell you when you point to an unfulfilled (yet in-itself legitimate) prayer. Either that, or they will say that the supplicant lacked the necessary faith.
Even I - a mere human - would not go into a toy store with my child and say “You can have whatever you want.” Rather, I would explicitly add “which has been approved for children under 10 years of age” and/or “that doesn’t cost more than $15,” or whatever was appropriate.
The New Testament prophets, on the other hand - and even Jesus Christ, himself - sets us all up for a big disappointment by including no such stipulation, restriction, or proviso in their utterances.
That is not true. A deeper understanding of the New Covenant brings wisdom on the matter.
Paul himself was afflicted with some malady, the "thorn of the flesh" in 2 Cor 12:7, placed purposefully in him, or at least, not allowed to be removed, in order to keep him humble. This suggests things within the will of God which cannot be changed- things which are denied us for a purpose we do not fully understand.
Likewise, minor themes in the Old Covenant are continued into the New; that God chastises His sons, that Satan is allowed to afflict... these also have to be entered into the equation, as well as the faith of the child(ren) of God seeking His Grace.
That is why we are aware that our requests are only allowed within His Will, and why we accept His decision in faith secure.
I am merely saying that these numerous promises scattered throughout the New Testament - Gondring has kindly provided an overview above - are about as useful as a "1/2-off" supermarket coupon which lacks the all-important stipulation "...unless we change our minds and decide not to, for reasons which you won't be able to grasp."
In fact, they are less than useless - they are (as I said before) setting us all up for deep disappointment.
One of the greatest impediments to faith is the true expression "God willing". As far as the promises of God in their proper context we must say "God is willing", not "God willing". It is up to us by prayer and The Word of God to know what the will of God is and to believe it. It is not God's promises that have failed in any way but rather us.
Of course, a great impediment to faith is also that we live inconsistent and faithless lives and then expect God to answer us as faithful children. Any good Father will not reward wayward, unrepentant children but rather give them the punishment that they need to help improve their character. The Bible says, "Let God be true and every man a liar". This is the attitude of faith.
I think as Americans we are programed by advertising to be very materialistic. Every good and perfect gift comes down from The Father of Lights with whom there is neither variableness nor shadow of turning. There is a line between the material world as we know it and the gift that comes through faith. One is from this world and one is from God in heaven. We usually think of God impressing his miracles unto us as a part of this natural world without realizing that He will not do that. If we want something from God we should ask Him to give it to us from above. There is a definite separation between the spiritual and the carnal.
In a way it all sounds complicated but actually it is much simpler than we live our lives which are tied up with all the beliefs and attitudes of this world. God calls us to live simple lives and to separate ourselves from subjecting ourselves to the belief systems of this world. Two things that are constantly programming our minds are TV and movies. How many people would live without all the worldly influences involved with entertainment? Our lives, hearts and minds just aren't on the simplicity of living our lives for God according to what we should be reading in the Bible. I wonder how many people that wonder why God doesn't answer their prayers like they want are truly living for Him on a day to day basis. I would guess very few.
But I was not disappointed, nor will I be. My daughter was healed in a series of wholly inexplicable events- literally snatched from death's door... I mean life flight to Great Falls, life flight to Salt Lake City... two heart failures on the way, died twice in transit... A 5% chance of life at the grim point of no return. She is a walking, talking miracle, right in front of my eyes, every day of my life.
And while she is assuredly the greatest work of God's hand in my life, Still other life bringing miracles have been given to others in my house- And many more signs and wonders! The Lord walks with us, and we praise His Name. And that is not uncommon in our Church either. His blessings abound. His Spirit is to be found there. Our house is not the exception.
What I wish to impart to you is a flat denial of your cynical view, as I said all along. Are there problems in our lives? Sure there are. Do we experience suffering and death? Yes, we do!
But we also see, with all justifiable hope and confidence, the promised working of the Spirit in our lives. We see indisputable evidence of His Mercy in our lives, and His kind intervention in our cause.
It is my estimation that when the Kingdom has finally come, many Christians will find no small shame in the amount of power they always had at their fingertips for wont of the smallest bit of faith and belief.
If, as you suggest, you are refused in what you ask for 99% of the time, and those around you are refused likewise, I would respectfully suggest that something isn't right in your world. You can identify the Church by the fruits of the Spirit- The gifts God gives through the Spirit. If those gifts are not there, it is not the Church, because the Spirit is not there.
I mean no disrespect. The world I live in is full of miracles. I only wish the very same for you.
It is not easy having faith. To have faith you must believe God above your senses and your own personal history. Faith is more precious than gold. Without faith that does not waver we can expect nothing from God. Without faith it is impossible to please God.
Yes, I agree. So in light of that, wouldn't it have been a lot clearer if, instead of emphasizing God's willingness to fulfill our prayers, or at least in addition to doing so, the NT prophets (incl. Jesus Christ) had said: "By the way, statistically speaking, only very rarely will your prayer requests - however, simple and legitimate they may seem to be to you - be fulfilled."? or: "Not one person in ten thousand actually will have such unwavering faith as to realistically expect a positive reply to his prayer"?
Why is it that it was left to subsequent generations of apologists and spin-doctors like yourself, Bellflower, to equivocate what Christ and the other NT prophets said, to lower expectations?
I think as Americans we are programed by advertising to be very materialistic. Every good and perfect gift comes down from The Father of Lights with whom there is neither variableness nor shadow of turning. There is a line between the material world as we know it and the gift that comes through faith. One is from this world and one is from God in heaven. We usually think of God impressing his miracles unto us as a part of this natural world without realizing that He will not do that. If we want something from God we should ask Him to give it to us from above. There is a definite separation between the spiritual and the carnal. In a way it all sounds complicated but actually it is much simpler than we live our lives which are tied up with all the beliefs and attitudes of this world. God calls us to live simple lives and to separate ourselves from subjecting ourselves to the belief systems of this world. Two things that are constantly programming our minds are TV and movies. How many people would live without all the worldly influences involved with entertainment? Our lives, hearts and minds just aren't on the simplicity of living our lives for God according to what we should be reading in the Bible. I wonder how many people that wonder why God doesn't answer their prayers like they want are truly living for Him on a day to day basis. I would guess very few.
You are using a lot of words to lament and describe an issue which I didn't raise, thus distracting from the issue at hand (this is akin to the "Strawman Fallacy.")
Please tell me, in simple terms, why one can point to numerous passages in the NT containing sweeping promises that our prayers will be heard (and acted upon!), although that is patently untrue (or true only in the sense that all such promises contain an implied "unless your faith isn't sufficient" or "unless it doesn't jibe with God's plan" or "but only if you believe in fairies.")
I, personally, am convinced that, if you had asked any of Christ's audience at the time whether his numerous emphatic promises that "Our Father in Heaven" will grant (sincere, legitimate, selfless) prayers... or if his statement that "there be some standing here which shall not taste of death till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom" (Matthew 16:28) were not to be understood literally, no one would have replied "Oh, of course that's all just allegorical... poetic license, you know. And in reality we're all just wormfood."